FarmVille co-creator's startup raises $33 million from a16z crypto and others

Quick Take

  • Proof of Play raised $33 million in a seed round, with investors including a16z crypto, Anchorage Digital and Naval Ravikant.
  • The crypto gaming company is led by FarmVille co-creator Amitt Mahajan, a former Zynga executive.

A high-profile list of investors including a16z crypto, Anchorage Digital and Naval Ravikant have participated in a $33 million seed round in a blockchain-gaming startup led by FarmVille co-creator Amitt Mahajan.

Greenoaks co-led the seed round alongside a16z. On top of Ravikant, who invested in both Uber and Twitter at an early stage, other participants in the round included Balaji Srinivasan, Twitch founders Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, in addition to Mercury, Firebase, Zynga, and Alchemy, the statement said.

Proof of Play, co-founded by its CEO Mahajan, aims to create fun and accessible blockchain games. Its first title, a social role-playing game called Pirate Nation, released in beta form in December.

“I saw first-hand what the amount of energy and storytelling players put into games they love. When [FarmVille] shut down in 2020, however, over a billion hours of playtime, creativity, and investment was lost,” Mahajan said in a statement. “Realizing this, I felt compelled to find a better way to make games timeless.”

Played by more than 300 million people, FarmVille is Facebook’s number one game of all time, according to Proof of Play’s statement. Besides creating FarmVille, Mahajan served as an executive at Zynga before founding Toro, which was later acquired by Google. Mahajan believes he learned some important lessons during his days earlier days in gaming.


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Searching for pirate gold

In the free-to-play game Pirate Nation, players will “battle, craft, trade and quest in search of” the digital token labeled PGLD for Pirate Gold.

The game was created by veterans of illustrious tech and entertainment companies like Epic Games, Zynga, EA, Riot Games, Activision, Google, Facebook, Disney, and Warner Brothers, the statement said.


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About Author

RT Watson is a senior reporter at The Block who covers a wide array of topics including U.S.-based companies, blockchain gaming and NFTs. Formerly covered entertainment at The Wall Street Journal, where he wrote about Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros. and the creator economy while focusing primarily on technological disruption across media. Previous to that he covered corporate, economic and political news in Brazil while at Bloomberg. RT has interviewed a diverse cast of characters including CEOs, media moguls, top influencers, politicians, blue-collar workers, drug traffickers and convicted criminals. Holds a master's degree in Digital Sociology.


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